Dr Beth Yahp

BA (Comms), DCA (UTS)
Lecturer in Creative Writing

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9114 1530

Website Beth Yahp Writing Works

Biographical details

Originally from Malaysia, Beth Yahp is an award-winning author with 25 years of professional experience as a writer of fiction and non-fiction, whose work has been published in Australia and internationally. Her novel The Crocodile Fury was translated into several languages and her libretto, Moon Spirit Feasting, for composer Liza Lim, won the APRA Award for Best Classical Composition in 2003. Beth has worked as an editor and taught creative writing for many years, including at the University of Technology, Sydney, Macquarie University, the American University of Paris, and currently at the University of Sydney in the Masters in Creative Writing Program. She was the presenter of Elsewhere, a program for travellers on ABC Radio National (2010-2011). Her travel memoir Eat First, Talk Later has been contracted by Random House Australia for publication in 2015.

Research interests

  • Creative Writing: Fiction (Novel, Short Story)
  • Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction (Memoir, Travel Writing)
  • Postcolonial Life Writing and Literature
  • Narratives of Migration
  • Malaysian History and Politics/ Political Activism
  • Creativity and Writers/ Writing Processes
  • Non-traditional Approaches to Research/ Practice-led Research Processes

Teaching and supervision

  • Creative Writing: Fiction (Novel, Short Story)
  • Major Movements in Contemporary Prose
  • Writers at Work: Fiction

Current projects

  • Eat First, Talk Later (travel memoir): contracted by Random House Australia for publication in 2015; based on my doctoral thesis of the same name.
  • New Found Families: Mapping Autobiographical Narratives of Migration, Hope and Change in Sydney and Malaysia

This project aims to research and record the life writing practices of migrant and refugee families in Sydney (as destination) and Malaysia (as a “migration hub” of people—traders, asylum seekers, people traffickers—their stories and other cultural commodities). It focuses on mapping the narration of family histories as narratives of migration, hope and adaptation in the face of geographic, linguistic, political and cultural displacement and instability. Using qualitative and practice-based research methodologies, the project would chart versions and strategies of the family narrative from perspectives of difference (age, gender, education, and evolving cultural practices of family members). I am interested in the strategic positioning of an ‘act of telling’ or ‘coming to voice’ of a particular narrative (and narrator), amidst other more dominant or accepted versions. I am also interested in the circumstances and historical “moments” in which such narratives arise, gain traction and come to dominate, or vice versa. The family as a microcosm of contested autobiographical narrations of self (as individual or part of a group; as private or public; as familial or national/transnational) is fertile ground for understanding contemporary constructions of cultural memory and discourses of trauma, hope and change.

Associations

  • The Memoir Club, Sydney (founding member, 2013)

Awards and honours

  • 2013 —shortlisted for CAL/Wet Ink Short Story Prize for ‘Dogs in Love’
  • 2005-09 —awarded 3 year UTS Doctoral Scholarship
  • 2004 —awarded Varuna Writer’s House fellowship
  • 2003 —awarded Bourse d’Encouragement, Centre National du Livre, France
  • 2002 —awarded Writing Residency at Château de Lavigny, Switzerland
  • 2002 —awarded APRA Prize for Best Classical Composition, with Liza Lim, for the opera Yue Ling Jie (libretto)
  • 2001 —awarded Asialink Literature Fellowship to the Philippines
  • 1998 —awarded Australia Council Literature Fund Fellowship
  • 1997 —voted one of ‘10 Best Young Australian Novelists’ by a panel of writers, critics and academics organised by the Sydney Morning Herald
  • —awarded Patricia Hackett Prize for ‘Best Contribution to Westerly’ in 1996 for essay titled ‘Place Perfect and the Other Asia’
  • 1995 —awarded Literature Board Asia/Pacific Fellowship
  • 1993 —The Crocodile Fury awarded the NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission Award and the Victorian Premier’s Prize for First Fiction, and short-listed for the NSW Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the 3M Royal Blind Society’s Talking Book of the Year
  • —awarded Australia Council Literature Board Asia/Pacific Fellowship
  • —awarded NSW Writers Fellowship
  • 1992 —awarded Varuna Writers’ Centre Fellowship
  • 1991 —awarded Australia Council Literature Board Project Grant
  • 1990 —awarded Australia Council Literature Board Project Grant
  • 1989 —awarded Ethnic Affairs Commission Fellowship

Judging and Selection Committees

  • 2014 —Community Relations Commission Award for a Multicultural Australia, Chair of Judging Committee
  • 2013 —NSW Premier’s Translation Prize Judge, Chair of Judging Committee
  • 2007 —NSW Premier’s Translation Prize Judge
  • 2003 —HaperCollins Prize for an Unpublished Novel, Varuna Writers Centre
  • 2001 —Australia Council Grants and Fellowships Selection Committee Arts
  • 1996 —Varuna Writers’ Centre Fellowships
  • 1996 —Sydney Writers’ Festival Advisory Committee
  • —Asialink Writers Residencies
  • 1994 —Australia Council Literature Board Residencies Committee
  • 1990 —Varuna Writers’ Centre Fellowships

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2017

  • Teaching Literature and Writing in the Digital Age; Hesse I, Rooney B, Johinke R, Yahp B, Lee F, Lilley K; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Textual Creative Works

  • Yahp, B. (2015). Eat First, Talk Later, (pp. 1 - 350). Sydney, Australia: Vintage. [More Information]

2015

  • Yahp, B. (2015). Eat First, Talk Later, (pp. 1 - 350). Sydney, Australia: Vintage. [More Information]

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